Who approves animal ethics applications: Animal Ethics Committee
If you plan to hold or use animals at the University of Sydney you must apply to the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) for permission to do so. This is a requirement of the NSW Animal Research Act 1985. Animals may not be held and projects must not commence until written approval has been received from the AEC.
The primary purpose of the AEC is to protect the welfare of the animals and ensure that they are used in a way that is scientifically worthwhile.
The AEC is composed of approximately 14 people. Two members are lay people, three members represent animal welfare organisations and three members are veterinarians. The remaining members are animal researchers and are drawn from the biological, medical, and behavioural sciences.
Category A: Veterinarians
Category B: Researchers experienced with the use of animals for scientific or teaching purposes
Category C: Member who are members of or are nominated by an animal welfare organisation
Category D: Independent members who are not associated with animal-based research, and not associated with the institution except under defined circumstances.
The committee meets monthly to consider applications. For each application, a spokesperson is assigned who presents the application to the Committee. The spokesperson can work with the applicants prior to the meeting in order to fill any gaps in the application.
After consideration by the committee, each application is assigned to a category:
- Category A: Approved
- Category A Condition: Approved with administrative conditions
- Category A Chair: Minor modifications required to the satisfaction of the chair of the AEC.
- Category B: Minor modifications required to the satisfaction of Executive Committee.
- Category C: Application must be modified substantially and re-reviewed by the Committee
The secretary of the AEC will write to applicants as soon as possible after the meeting to inform them of the outcome of their application and to explain any objections that have been raised by the Committee that will need to be addressed by the applicant.